Try not to be too disappointed that this is only five tracks and not the new full-length new album but I’m sure that isn’t too far away so see it as a bonus that’ll tide you over nicely.
This offer is suitably snotty and it chews out a rhythm like fellow well-crafted power poppers from their neck of the woods The Exploding Hearts. Its guitars below the belt buckle, leather jacket on with the collars turned up, Some creepers or cons and turn those amps up a little bit louder than you think they should be and let’s go!
‘See Her In Action’ the song kicks things off and with all the vital ingredients present and in situ it’s all systems go. There’s a dreamy vibe to the melody as the band just eases into the rhythm. They’re not reinventing the wheel here they’re just having a good time hanging out and kicking out the jams and it sounds like they have the best of times. ‘Only Lovers’ tweaks that Chuck Berry riff a little and the guitars just roll with it. It’s a timeless lick and it’s been used by many far and wide the good and the great and sometimes the not so great but The Cheap Cassettes know how to handle the string bending and put it to great use.
‘Lil’ Bit Everyday’ is the last of the three studio recordings and for me it’s they’ve saved the best till last and with a hint of mop-top mod melody in the chorus I like it a lot and the solo just hits the bullseye in the sweetest way. Now to get a good idea of where bands like The Cheap cassettes work best there are a couple of live recordings thrown into the mix and the first is the epic ‘Valentine’ originally by The Replacements (obviously) and The Cheaps do it justice and sail pretty close to the original and another of the bands they are clearly inspired by being nailed to the mast. Job done! then to sign this impressive EP off they power their way through ‘Red Line Blue’ and my appetite is suitably whetted for the next long-player. Bring it on.
Its been a while since RPM first made contact with Montreals The Dangereens who describe themselves as,
“The most elegant-decadent rock n’ roll unit of the 21st century”. which is quite some boast, However, when we heard their long player ‘Tough Luck’, it was obvious they actually have the tunes to back this up. When everything settles down maybe the world at large will finally have the chance to see for themselves if this just a case of idle promises or The Dangereens are indeed the real deal. What the world needs right now is some glamorous, decadent Rock and Roll so we reached out to lead singer Hugo to find out who the hell are The Dangereens and why should we check em out and for Hugo to introduce us to the world of The Dangereens. So, Read on and get excited for The Dangereens…
Firstly, ‘Tough Luck’ (the album) was recommended by one of the writers here at RPM Online, and when he said the magic words “there is a hint of Hanoi Rocks in here” I knew I had to order the record. I did and he was right. So with that in mind where would you say you sit musically on ‘Tough Luck’?
Quite frankly I don’t believe that Tough Luck should be examined as a whole (in terms of musical genres), but rather as a collection of songs that draw from various influences. There are touches of 70s glam rock, punk, power pop and southern rock, 60s garage rock, 50s R&B and rock’n’roll, 40s boogie-woogie… So, you know… I guess I’d describe it as a “glitter rhythm and punk” effort… Then again, I’m not too good with labeling my own shit. I’m sure you’d do a much better job at it 😉
How long have you been together as the Dangereens?
About 4 years
What about influences and what you wanted to achieve with the ‘Tough Luck’ long-player?
Our influences are as numerous as they are scattered… Some of the guys like 80s hard rock, heavy metal and other types of mustache music that I know nothing about. Personally, I like 3 chords, light-hearted love songs, tear-jerking outcries and obscure rock’n’roll moronities… Anything that moves and grooves, you know? One thing we all agree upon is that it’s gotta be soulful, it’s gotta have that swing, and it’s gotta sound like us. I guess my role as the leader of the gang is to take that harder edge from the other guys and make it snap, crackle and pop so that at the end of the day, every song’s a groover. I really focus on a song as a song, and not as a part of a concept or anything like that. How our album ended up sounding like an album (with a common thread and a continuation in the themes) really beats me! I still don’t know how we pulled it off…
What was the process for writing the record? Is there one main writer and how does it roll as far as jamming the songs in a rehearsal room or is there a set method?
There is a main writer: me. Now is probably a good time to introduce myself. I’m Hugo and I’m the singer. I also play rhythm guitar on the album. That being said, I’m not alone in this band, and I cannot overstate the importance of the role that the other guys have played in the writing process of this album. I like the idea of working really hard in the beginning of a project on elaborating an aesthetic and a sound that gathers (or at least tries to) a common side of every member’s personality. Once you’ve built that core, then you can start slacking and drinking, and still the songs will come pouring like it’s the monsoon.
About the writing process now… So I come up with the words, the chords and the vocal melody and I show it to the guys, and I guide them roughly towards a certain way of approaching the song. Once I see that everyone understands how the song should be approached, it’s really not mine anymore… As long as we all respect the song, I’m happy. Sometimes one of the guys will come up with something brilliant I haven’t even thought of. This is proof to me that the song lives and that it can speak, and that is always a good start. Oh, and this all has to happen in this crappy (but cheap) room we use as a jam space, and as quickly as possible. If too much effort or talking is required to get there you probably oughta let this one slide until the time is right.
As far as the process for recording the songs is concerned, we really focused on how that “core” should sound by jamming 3 times a week and by trying to build it with raw-live-off-the-floor energy. Even there, we still got to the studio unprepared and had to deal with a bunch of last minute freak-outs, but we pulled through gracefully (in my own opinion). How we managed to do that is beyond me as well. I believe in my heart that rock’n’roll is about sensibility, and that’s not something you can prepare or train. I guess that what I really mean is that rock’n’roll is about laziness (haha).
How have you dealt with the release with touring being off the agenda?
We had absolutely no idea things were gonna freeze like that… We figured we’d release the album a bit later than expected (May instead of April), but still in time for the summer. We thought we’d be out of this shitshow by then… we were wrong. I guess that’s why we’re musicians and not global medical analysists… analysisticians?… analysts? (haha)
Is there any music written for a follow-up?
Oh hell ya! If there’s anything good about this pandemic, it’s that it pushed me to write new material. We’ve got about 10 new songs now that we can’t wait to share with y’all!
You preceded the album with a pair of tracks ‘Lucky In Love and Holy Water, why were they left off the album? They are two totally different numbers and show a real maturity in the writing and I love a saxophone in my Rock and Roll and Jay plays a major part in the sound?
The label we’re affiliated with for distribution (ALIENSNATCH! Records) suggested to take them out. They were initially supposed to be on the album. I agree with you that they add a certain depth to the band’s repertoire as they are slower songs. We might reissue the album including the 2 singles one day…
Blue Jay is a wonderful guy. We love working with him. He comes from a jazz background and everything he added on the album came out naturally. We hope to work with him on future recordings.
The album has a classic feel to it but also sounds fresh and versatile. Do you have a particular track that you love? If I was to tell someone about this new band I’m playing called Dangereens what would you suggest I play them and how would you describe it?
Thank you! We love working with old-school material like tape machines and 60s transistor soundboards because they force you to commit to decisions. The entire album was recorded on analog devices and I guess it gives it this naturally compressed and warm sound which we now consider “classic”. I don’t want to get into the details of analog recording because it bores the daylights out of me, but I can say it also made the recording and mixing process a whole lot faster because we’d rarely go back to fix mistakes (mistakes are a crucial part of the Dangereens’ sound) and because we didn’t need to colour the sound with a bunch of VST’s or anything like that. During the mix, it was mostly a matter of making certain things shine a bit more and leave other things in the background and Ryan Battistuzzi made a phenomenal job at that.
About my preferred numbers, usually, my favorite song is the last one I wrote. Having let some time pass now, I’d say my favorite ones are Microwave Boogie for the story-telling type of lyrics and the general delivery of the band, Love Jive for the pedal steel arrangements and guitar works, and Hearse Driving Blonde for the simple, uplifting vibe. Tomorrow I might say something else though.
The band is quite different from the one that released that first EP back in 2018 even if those songs are excellent again showing the versatility within the band both being able to just Rock and Roll on ‘Reign Of your mind’ and then the acoustic side as on ‘Libertine’ and the two tacks you released on Bandcamp that covered show you delved deep into the back catalogue of rock and roll. Why those two tracks in particular?
Yes, the EP marks a different era. As a matter of fact, we were another band back then, literally. We were 4, Yan, who plays piano on the record, was our drummer, and we had another bass player, Miles. After Yan and Miles left, they were replaced with Olivier (actual drummer) and Jordan (actual bass player). As I was saying before I like to write/compose for the band I have. These new cats have different artistic orientations and tastes, and I feel it is my duty to represent that in the songs, you know?
About the cover songs, it’s very simple… We initially booked 2 days of studio to record the 14 rhythm tracks (the 12 Tough Luck songs + Lucky In Love and Holy Water). Thing is, we were so hot on the 1st day, we ended up canning 12 of them, leaving only 2 for the second day. I then decided we’d use the remaining time to record live-off-the-floor performances, 50s style. Break Up was already part of our live set and High Blood Pressure is just a song I love so I showed it to the guys on the day of the recording and off we went!
As for live shows, how long has it been since you last played and what are the plans? Is Europe a possibility when it’s safe to do so?
When the pandemic hit us, we had just come back from a 3 days mini-tour in the US. We played Brooklyn, Manhattan and Boston. All three shows went incredibly well and we made awesome friends (shouts to Muck and The Mires who rocked our socks off)! Man, were we riding high… Also, we were planning a Europe end of summer tour so you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll come around as soon as borders open!
What about promo videos any more planned?
We made the one for Streets of Doom (it’s on our Youtube channel, Dangereens Official) and another one that should be out anytime soon! I can’t tell you for which song though 😉
Going back to the album. I love songs like ‘Thieves’ and ‘Worried Mind’ and would love to hear them played live. When I’ve been playing the record I hear bits of inspiration from bands like thin Lizzy and some traditional boogie-woogie mixed with the likes of Hanoi or a bit of Bolan boogie the whole thing just rocks, and a whole bunch of others that jump out to me, in a sound or maybe a chorus or melody. the way you mix up the influences on ‘1003’ with the sax and some fine piano playing whilst keeping it fresh is something not a whole bunch of bands are doing right now it would be great if success on a big scale was around the corner. They do say it comes in waves and we’re just about ready for Rock and Roll to dominate the charts again. How was the album recorded? songs like ‘Little Uptown Girl’ sound like they were one live take would that be a fair assumption?
Aww, now you’re gonna make me blush (haha)! I don’t know about rock’n’roll dominating the charts, but it doesn’t really matter to us anyway… The way I see it, this band is all about good times, and good times never go out of style (although we all may feel that way these days). All those bands you’ve mentioned are definitely up there in our spiritual altar, but we also listen to more recent stuff. To me, a good song is a good song. It doesn’t matter if it’s rock’n’roll or new age, you know? When I write a song, I think of the melody and rhythm first, then I lay words on it. The fact that they end up sounding the way they do is because of the way we naturally approach music as a band. Rockin’ and rollin’ is part of our daily routine.
About the recording process, we start by recording the rhythm (drums, bass and guitars) tracks altogether, then we do overdubs for vocals and other instruments (saxophone, trumpet, piano, organ, strings, etc.). In my opinion, the more elements you record simultaneously, the better it sounds. Giving that we were working with a 16 tracks tape machine and in a small basement room, it would’ve been impossible to achieve recording everything all at once, but at least we got to work off of our live rhythm tracks, without using a click. Saying that our songs sound like they’re live takes is possibly the best compliment you could’ve given me! A song is like a picture, you know? It’s about capturing that unique moment in time. You can always take a snap of some willow tree by a lake, then photoshop Kate Moss kissing you on the cheek underneath it later, but eventually someone will figure out that shit’s not sitting right…
Ok enough of me waffling, what plans have Dangereens for the future? the next record? Singles?, Tours? and where is the best place people reading this can get the album in physical format from obviously digital copies its Bandcamp right?
It sucks because I can’t tell you much about the future since we are in the midst of negotiations and I don’t want to jinx it, but we’ve got BIG plans… All I can say is you’re gonna see a lot more of us in 2021 going forward! To get a physical copy of our album, you can go through ALIENSNATCH! Records‘ Bandcamp page. They’re also available through Green Noise Records for North America. Otherwise, if you’re in Montreal, hit us on Facebook and we’ll come and deliver it to you. We have black and clear red vinyl. They look and sound amazing! As for digital, you can find us on all platforms (Spotify, Deezer, Apple Music, Amazon Music, etc.) or buy a digital copy via Bandcamp.
So there you have it, The Dangereens ladies and Gentlemen now hit up some of the links and check out the music. Thanks to Hugo for being so generous with his time.
It’s been over a decade since I first discovered that even when Mommy Sez No you can still get your musical kicks from a trashy, crypt-cool beat combo souring airwaves with its self-soiled brand of “Spook ‘n’ Roll.”
From debut splatter platter, ‘Hotwaterburnbaby’, via the putrid poetry of follow-up, ‘Eeeeeeeeep!!!’, to the 2-4-5 Trioxin-addled new album, ‘The Dwellers Below’, the Saint Paul, Minnesota ghouls Mommy Sez No have traversed the gutters and gateways of the punk rock underground for so long that you’d probably be excused for thinking that this was a band destined to be stumbled across when lovingly fingering your wholly unfashionable physical media collection; the cobwebs blown from a disc or two decaying in the creepy corner labelled ‘Where Are They Now?’ But, no – this six-legged monstrosity (Jeff Arndt on guitar and vocals; Alex Smith on drums; Thomas White on bass) is back in the hunt; better, stronger, faster than it was before.
Okay, the enhancement might not be bionic, but it’s by some other ungodly advancement that finds the horror punk veterans kicking lumps out of the opposition with a thirteen-track (what else?!) long player that, actually, doesn’t play for that long given its frenetic pace, but oozes with a gooey, unexpected slap of, dare I say it, maturity.
Looking cooler-than-thou wearing its wraparound artwork skin courtesy of fellow Minnesota mayhem maker, artist Bill Hauser (creator of many a striking punk rock album cover), ‘The Dwellers Below’ takes the lowbrow splatter punk of Mommy Sez No out of the garage and into, well, at least the garage forecourt. With better production, better artwork, better just about everything to be honest, this is the band’s most accomplished work to date… but fear not horror punk purists, this record is still a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
From opening cut, ‘Take Me To The Hospital’, to the power ballad, ‘Maggots In Yer Guts’, via the chaos of ‘Hahahahahahaha’, Mommy Sez No is still as subtle as a killing spree and as manic as a final girl chase scene. The big difference is that the band doesn’t stumble at all throughout the entirety of this album.
Even when introducing more straight-ahead rock ‘n’ roll strut to the tracklisting with the likes of ‘Lil Bit Of Voodoo’, ‘Rock And Roll Death Patrol’ and the alternate reality KISS riff-led ‘Uh Oh… I Think…’ the band still has that unnerving way of making the listener feel like they need a good wash after partaking in an auditory exercise; the songs to die for (possibly literally) rather than a diversion.
The aforementioned artwork may give off a sense of the post-apocalyptic (doesn’t everything these days?!) but the album still has a hoof or two in the band’s tried, tested, and tortured peculiar amalgam of straight-to-video horror and no-budget punk rock… except there is a budget these days, but that shouldn’t put you off; think the upgrade from The Evil Dead to Dead By Dawn – better everything, but with that same, fierce independent spirit. ‘The Dwellers Below’ is a crazed, ass-kicker of an album that will easily force its way into my Top Ten albums list of a crazy, asshole of a year. Recommended.
With a brand new box set ready for release we thought we’d catch up with Boys legend Matt Dangerfield and ask him about his time on Safari Records as we look back on the time the Boys went down to a four-piece and all things Safari. I also ask what’s next for one of the finest bands ever to come out of the United Kingdom.
How was it revisiting the Safari catalogue of releases? Did it bring back fond memories?
Yes it did. Best of all was listening to the “Hell” tracks because this is the first time that it’s sounded good on CD. CDs didn’t exist when the album was released, and later when the first CD version came out it sounded like over-compressed shit. All subsequent CD releases of “Hell” were copied from that CD so I feel sorry for anyone who bought any CD copies of “Hell” prior to this release.
Were there any songs from the ‘To Hell’ record that you have since revisited during remastering changed how you feel about them? I’ll admit I’ve not played the records for a while and when the news came through about the box set I have since given them a good listening to and there are parts of songs that jumped out at me that I feel I previously missed or had forgotten. Was this the same for you?
Very much so. For the reason I just mentioned, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to “Hell” on CD since the last century! So listening to it now for me is almost like hearing it for the first time and it all sounds fantastic from start to finish! We still usually include four of the songs in our live set: “Can’t Hurt a Memory”, “Terminal Love”, “See Ya Later” – and we use “Sabre Dance” as our intro music.
I loved reading your notes along with the specific song playing and was surprised to see you wrote lyrics on the way to the studio, and I chuckled at the thought of it happening due to studio time and schedules, etc did you not ever get worried you wouldn’t come up with anything? Out of this process what would you say were your best lyrics?
Well, that was mainly in the early days when we weren’t given much studio time and I was working on two or three songs at a time. But generally speaking, I’ve always responded well to deadlines and would often leave things until they really need to be done and then work like Hell. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.
Your notes for ‘Waiting For The Lady’ and the Beatles reference I hadn’t really put it together previously but ‘Independent Girl’ has a real Lennon feel to it. Some of the harmonies throughout ‘To Hell’ have a certain Lennon and McCartney feel is that fair? They were obviously an influence but more so that album (Not that The Beatles would have sounded like you guys they weren’t that good) 😉
Flattery will get you nowhere, but thanks anyway! The backing vocals on “Waiting for The Lady” in particular, were Beatles inspired. But we were inspired by lots of bands and all the music that we grew up within the 60s which was a great era for musical creativity and innovation.
Who Owns The ‘Junk’ tapes now? How complete was the ‘Junk’ album? How does the process go with masters? If you didn’t own them the label did but they didn’t own the songs did they? If they weren’t finished, Could you have gone away – changed a lyric here or a title there and released it anyway? How involved were you with the day to day business of the band and management and label?
The ‘Junk’ tapes are just the rough monitor mixes on cassette from Rockfield Studios that I took away with me to work on ideas, lyrics etc. with the intention that we would come back and complete the album there. But after NEMS didn’t pay the studio and Rockfield wouldn’t release the two-inch tapes, we finally lost our patience with NEMS and went on strike for a few months until they eventually let us go. Our manager, Ken Mewis, generally dealt with the label, promotion and tour bookings, but we took care of the creative and recording side of things.
How do you look back on the time spent On Safari!?
We had a great relationship with Safari, which was basically John Craig and Tony Edwards. Two great guys who did all the right things for us in terms of albums, tours etc and generally looked after us and gave us the freedom to be creative. What more can you ask for as a band?
I always loved the cover of ‘Boys Only’ whose idea was that?
The designer was John Gordon (I fished out the original vinyl copy to get that detail) who was responsible for the concept. All I remember that it was our longest and most tiring photo session ever and took a whole day to get all the necessary pics.
Going out as a four-piece was it ever not going to happen? Did you think around that time that the band was done? What about the recording process, how different was it?
It was different without Cas but we took it in our stride, I knew that the band wasn’t finished and it didn’t feel that much different playing live. Recording was as easy going as ever and John and myself were writing enough songs but we did have to work harder on the backing vocals and harmonies without Cas being there.
Would you say that John recording with Pete Stride made him a more confident writer and bandmember? He brings quite a bit to the table for Boys only and sings on quite a few. How did you decide who sang what? are there versions recorded say of ‘Monotony’ with you delivering a vocal and Duncan or was that never done? because you say he (Duncan) sang it live.
Yes, John had become more confident and also had become a better singer. As regards who sang what, I usually only sang the songs that I’d written or written with Cas, and Duncan usually sang John’s and a few Steel/Dangerfield songs that we thought would suit his voice. I think “Monotony” was only ever likely to be sung by John on record.
You got to record in some iconic studios such as Rockfield, Pye and Olympic were you aware of your surroundings at the time? Was there a favourite? or a particular song you look back on that you really nailed because of where you were. Rockfield had the toilet at the end of the hallway with a mic in the hall did you ever apply such techniques?
Yes, I was definitely chuffed to be using the same studios where some of my favourite tracks had been made. Rockfield/Dave Edmonds/Sabre Dance; Pye/The Kinks etc; Olympic/lots of Stones stuff etc. Rockfield was probably my favourite for its vibe because you also lived there and could totally concentrate on the recording. “Brickfield Nights” was definitely ‘nailed’ there.
When the band gets back to playing live is there a chance some of the more obscure tracks might creep into the set? You mention songs like ‘Little White Lifeline’ and its solo would sound great live.
We sometimes slip in a lesser known track. We do “Lifeline” at acoustic gigs sometimes but without the solo, because even straight after recording that solo, I was never able to play it again.
When you have writing credits say like on ‘Schoolgirls’ Cas yourself and John how do you decide who gets on the credits?
It’s usually decided on the spot – if anyone added anything of substance to the song they’d get credit.
Changing up songs like ‘Kamakaze’ in the style of VU for ‘Jap Junk’ whose idea was that and was this done on any other songs because it’s quite a departure the saxophone is great on the single mix
The minimalist drums were my idea of a tribute to the Velvets, who first opened my eyed to punk, and I think we’d always had it in mind to get a sax on the song.
How many more tapes might there be with the likes of ‘Cry Tomorrow’ on them? Fantastic stuff, maybe another acoustic album is on the cards with some of the rare tunes mixed with the more popular ones you did on the acoustic album. a live acoustic album recorded at Rebellion because a couple of acoustic sets were fantastic from the pubs almost acoustic stage and then the opera house were real highlights?
Well those tapes turned up out of the blue, so who knows what else might turn up. We may consider another acoustic album – it’s a lot easier to make than a full studio album, as is a live album.
The band always did great covers are there any you think would have really suited you guys? Any you worked on that never got recorded? The other side of it is other people covering The Boys. Who have you particularly admired any jump out as doing a great job or really getting what the song was about? Michael Monroe did jimmy Brown and it must always be great when Die Toten Hosen release a covers album and include a Boys Song.
I love Michael’s version of “Jimmy Brown”. I also like the Hosen’s versions of “First Time” and “Brickfield Nights”, and Nicky Sudden’s cover of “Independent Girl”.
The live album sounds fantastic, I’ve always liked the BBC sessions, from some of my favourite bands possibly, because the BBC always had great engineers and their sound recording was top notch and the live ones always sounded so good what are your thoughts on the live album?
Yes, it’s true those Beeb producers and sound engineers were very good and worked very quickly, which really suited us as we generally record fast. I remember that the BBC sound people always seemed to have beards, maybe it was a job requirement.
You illude to it not being your usual audience. The applause sounds great even after the ‘worm song’ their faces must have been a picture.
They were very polite.
I’ve mentioned it to Steve but it would be great to have these ‘Safari’ recordings as a vinyl set I wouldn’t need my glasses then for the booklet which is great to read your memories of each song. Did you ever keep diaries or is it just a sharp knack for remembering. What next for the Boys? Is there anything left in the archive or what about new material. ‘Punk Rock Menopause’ was such a great album is there going to be a follow-up?
We’d love to get them out on vinyl and a lot of our fans would love it so who knows?
“Anyone buying the Box Set directly from The Boys this month (September 2020) will be given a PDF document of Matt Dangerfield’s full Safari notes along with an unreleased 1979 demo of “New Guitar In Town”. For more information email The Boys at email@example.com“
Special thanks to Steve Metcalfe for always having The Boys corner and doing a sterling job keeping their flame alive and making running features on them such a pleasure.
Governess are a sleazy bunch of sexy sailors playing a glunky blend of all action rock n’ roll that would bring a tear of pride to the guy lined eyes of Johnny Thunders and Happy Tom. Hailing from Buffalo, NY in the late great USA, Governess share the balls of their mid-west neighbours and the guts of their NYC cousins. We had a word with guitar player Handsome Erik, an all American guy with an unhealthy love for UK 90’s indie bands.
Compete the following sentence “Governess sound like a cross between………..”
A cross between deathpunk, glam, and Scandi/action rock. Big riffs, flamboyant swagger, sick guitars, and one hand gripping your crotch. Our influences include Hanoi Rocks, NY Dolls, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, and the Dead Boys, to name a few, and I think that comes out in our musical style.
It’s been 4 years single the debut album “Let Me Be Your Governess”. What have you guys been up to????
Writing songs, and hitting the road, mostly. Getting out there, grinding, playing shows has always been at the forefront of our minds. We didn’t really want four years to pass before putting out another record; it just kind of worked out that way. The luxury of taking that time gave us a lot of material to choose from – the best we have from the last four years!
You’ve just unleashed new tune “Grime Time” what’s the response been like?
Oh man, the response has been great! Choosing the first single is a tricky thing. We wanted to put a song out that gives the audience an idea of what the record sounds like, but we didn’t want to blow our load early and use the strongest tune(s). I think we made the right decision; the song rips, and there’s still plenty of gems on the record. Every lyric in that song is true, by the way. It’s about our best bud, and 6th Governess – “Grime Time,” Matt. Without blowing his head up too much, he’s become some sort of quasi-fabled legend. He travels with us, partying his ass off the whole time. Once he learned that we wrote a song about him, shit really popped off!
What can the world expect from the new album “Never Coming Home”?
Never Coming Home sounds HUGE. Don’t expect some weak-ass, lo-fi, art-punk crap that was recorded on an old mixtape, or something. There’s a lot of guitars, a lot of sing-a-longs, cool lyrics, and upbeat songs. No snoozers. It’s dark, it’s fast, and it’s loud. In a lot of ways, we feel like Let Me Be Your Governess was kind of like our Ass Cobra, and this new one is our Apocalypse Dudes moment. The band has evolved so much in four years.
Have you got a label lined up or will you set up your own label to get it out there?
We are currently doing everything ourselves, but we are definitely looking to shop this around and get label support.
What’s your plan, post-pandemic battle plan?
Staying in lock-down has everyone really dying to get out play shows. Once we’re able to do that again, we’ll be pounding the pavement hard. This pent up energy is going to make for some wild times ahead! We’re trying to get this record released, in physical form, by the end of the year/early 2021. We haven’t discussed an early digital release, but that’s a possibility as well.
Are there still any great undiscovered bands out there? Give your mates’ bands a push.
Absolutely! Punk’s not dead, it’s just down on the floor… Through the years, we’ve met some great bands, and have made some great friends. Without a doubt, the best band in our scene is Hot Blood, from Asbury Park, New Jersey. If you’re into hardcore punk, there’s no one doing it better. They have two guitar players that shred, their lyrics are on point, and their hooks are strong as fuck. In early 2019 they put out Fear of a Unified Public, and we’re still all talking about it! Another great Asbury band (now in Los Angeles) is The Battery Electric. These beautiful babies are the hardest working band in the business. 100% rock n roll, sweet hooks, and another Jersey guitar shredder! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Rotten UK (Rochester, NY) and the Cheats (Pittsburgh, PA). Both bands are incredible and should be way bigger than they are. I hear the Hot Blood guys a Rotten boys don’t get along, though….
What five albums should no home be without?
I find it curious that you’re asking for five records, and it just so happens that those first five Oasis releases are pure fire! Coincidence??? For real though, my favorite bands/records change on a daily basis, depending on my mood, or what Kinks record I’m listening to at the moment, so this is a tough question. How about I tell you the five records that are getting the most spins in the Handsome household?
Greater Than Ever, by Baseball Furies – Buffalo punk legends. I discovered this record about two years ago, and its been in regular rotation since. I’m mad at myself for not discovering it sooner.
Off the Rails, by Gino and the Goons – I just discovered these guys too! Their entire catalog is great. I thought I was a huge Heartbreakers fan; these guys really love them, L U V!
Funhouse, by The Stooges – This record blows me away. It’s so loud, raw, and loose. Plus Ron Asheton is fucking MENTAL!!
Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing, by Compulsive Gamblers – I love that 60s vibe. The singer has a sweet voice, and that song Two Thieves always makes me want to cry. I DON’T THOUGH!!!!!
Algorithm & Blues, by The Good, the Bad, and the Zugly – Jesus Christ! What can I say? Its not only the best record of 2019, but it’s going in the Deathpunk Hall of Fame.
Governess are –
Robot Rob: Vocals & Bass
Handsome Erik: Lead Guitar
Fast Teddy Clarke: Lead Guitar
Jon Swayze: Rhythm Guitar
Matty Wild: Drums
Australian garage punk rockers MOOT have released their new EP ‘Cultural Treason’ via Riot Records. Cultural Treason is the first proper release from the band.
A collection of songs poking fun and inspecting what’s going on in the world today. It’s fast, chaotic and good fun would be the best way to describe this record as it blitzes round the genres of Punk and Garage Rock.
Cultural Treason is trashy garage punk rock and roll. Australia is easily caning the rest of the rock and roll world over the last couple of years and are churning out potential breakthrough acts left right and centre. A lot of the better ones are hedging their amps down the Garage sloppy punk n roll street. Moot are on of the contenders or they bloody-well should be
I Hate Hippies is MOOT’s summary of the modern phenomena of hipsters. The one that puts on the “I’m in touch with the earth and wellness” schtick, but really, it’s just mummy and daddy financing a self-absorbed arrogant hypocrite. ITs spat out as you’d expect.
‘1000 Words’ is old school punk and if you close your eyes you could imagine this was recorded in a rehearsal down the Roxy. There isn’t much finery going on in the control room and the band seem more intent on capturing the spirit of the music rather than keeping up with modern studio dynamics. ‘Sick Dog’ sounds like they just found an early pistols jam as they try to harness that Jonesy guitar riff.
Six tracks sounds like a great idea for a first release and knocking it on the head with the single ‘I Want TO Be Clint Eastwood’ has the feel of Dead Kennedys but not as rapid, unlike the record’s opener.
In the bands six years existence, they’ve played every dive bar in Australia and lived to tell the tale with a smile on their faces lyrics that tackle serious subjects as well as with a cheeky wink and who doesn’t want to be Clint Eastwood its about time someone wrote a tune worth playing twice about the Actor.
Well here it is kiddie winkies the ‘Best Of’ album of the year and probably any other year if it were a competition, which it isn’t. But if it were Mötochrist has won. From the artwork to the content and the cliche crammed melodies its an absolute steal at any price. If you haven’t already ordered your own copy why not?
Originally released as one of those Kickstarter campaigns many many moons ago (at least 18 months if I’m honest) and for it being a Greatest Hits compilation fuck knows why it’s taken so long but it doesn’t even matter because it’s Mötochrist and they Rock and that can do what they want simple as that!
I know there’s a certain irony of it being a Greatest Hits seeing as they’ve only ever released one single on vinyl proper oh ok So ‘I Don’t Ride Bitch’ was a single-sided No Balls creation and they did release a three-track CD Ep. and that was on No Balls and not many will have ordered it anyway but truth being known everything Mötochrist has released is the Greatest anyway even when they’re not on top form its still the Greatest and way better than 99.9% of other bands records. Oh, and the artwork is a stroke of genius front and centre – absolute stone-cold classic. I’m lucky being a fanboy I got mine signed even during COVID because if it wasn’t already obvious there’s no way any Virus is taking Mötochrist down not now not ever- they are indestructible
So Whats on this Greatest Hits then I hear you say through salivating chops. Well, the only downside is its just the one record and not a double album or better still boxed set with everything they’ve recorded on vinyl – Fingers crossed eh?
It starts as it does at the start of the ‘Greetings’ album with the glorious ‘Hang Em High’ and the total heaviness of those Guitars man it’s fucking awesome and the tone of Diamond and Vodka is immense. Catchy tune after catchy tune with cheeky lyrics and big riffs this compilation is a must-have don’t take yourself too seriously and let your hair down ‘The Fist’ is a beauty and from the bands decade-old ‘Corvette Summer’ album (man it seems like yesterday)
Then it’s back to those ‘Salt Flats’ for ‘Super Sonic Speed Machine’ but its not all full throttle as the laid back ‘Holiday’ steps up with its ‘Strip club’ staple groove and killer chorus. Of course, the tribute to ‘Evel’ is present as is Marc Diamond penned ‘Pretty Girls’. Then to close off the first half, side one is drinking anthem ‘We Came We Saw We Drank’ and its TV Eye tip of the hat to Iggy and boozing and a fine way to take us to half time.
Side two opens with a pair from ‘Corvette Summer’ before their last album ‘Chrome’ rears its devil horned head. I’m going through side two and by the time I hit ‘Hellbound’ and its wonderful lyrics of Shakespearian quality. I guess having self-awareness is a good thing and guys I think Hellbound is the only option so well done for embracing your final destination but as the final thirteenth track ‘I Don’t Ride Bitch’ plays out I realise there’s no room for the epic ‘Marc Diamond’ or ‘El Diablo’ uh what? oh, I see Pfew Volume One. It just wouldn’t be fair to overload this one so you’re forgiven.
In short, just buy this album if you don’t have a record player, well, this is your excuse to get one. A stone-cold winner of Greatest Hits album of the year and its only August for fucks sake!
Oh and to make this bad boy even more desirable (if that’s possible) my record came with a CD that features a whole heap of bands covering Mötochrist which is as we all know futile but worth a go and most definitely worth a listen from some pretty straight takes on classics and some that are well and truly fucked with oh and they have ‘Marc Diamond’ and ‘El Diablo’ so all not lost. Danny Christ!? Jesus wept I can’t stop looking at it and laughing.
Your waking up to the sad news that Walter Lure, who was guitarist in iconic NYC punk band The Heartbreakers, has died after battle with lung cancer and liver cancer. He was 71. Walter was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer in July 2020, which spread rapidly and he died from complications related to cancer at the age of 71, peacefully in the hospital, surrounded by family. He was very much loved and respected for all he contributed to the world of music. He will be dearly missed. He last played Rebellion festival here in the UK last Summer and continued to perform songs from the classic L.A.M.F. as well as his solo material. We’d like to send our best wishes to his family and close friends for their loss. Rest easy Walter.
Lure was the last surviving member of The Heartbreakers Walter leaves behind a lean but incredible musical legacy and will be missed by many. The perfect foil to Thunders onstage, Walter leaves behind the L.A.M.F album that spawned and influenced several generations of Rock and Rollers as well as a couple of classic solo records with the Waldos. I was lucky enough to interview him many years ago and he was engaging, charming, humble and funny and it was great to meet one of your heroes who deserved to be on the pedestal you put them on. Rest In Peace Walter Lure – Rock and Roll Legend.
As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was – Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.
They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.
On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.
As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.
The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate. The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.
The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.
Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!
In the wake of Coronavirus many albums being released are cited as “an album of the times” or “the soundtrack to lockdown”, yet most were written and recorded before lockdown was even a thing. It seems some musicians are just clued in to the right frequency for the times. One such band is Brighton folk heroes the Levellers.
Now, Levellers have been releasing “an album of the times” since their first album ‘A Weapon Called The Word’ was released on an unsuspecting world in 1990. Taking their name from the political movement, the band have always been outspoken with their left-wing political views and voicing change with their lyrics and in interviews.
They outgrew their humble, crusty beginnings, headlined Glastonbury in 1994 and even bothered the charts a few years later with the likes of ‘Just The One’ and ‘What A Beautiful Day’. The mid nineties saw the band go it alone, becoming independent with their own self-contained headquarters called The Metway. There they have their offices, where they run the fan club, it houses a rehearsal space and recording studio. And they continue to be self-sufficient to this day with their On The Fiddle record label.
While ‘Peace’ is their first new studio album in 8 years, the band has not been sitting on their laurels. 2008’s ‘We The Collective’ saw the band re-imagine an album of their songs acoustically, with an orchestra at Abbey Road. They continue to tour extensively and host their own Beautiful Days Festival. The recent deluxe vinyl reissues of their discography have kept fans content in the lead up to album number 11.
And album number 11 is a throwback to what the band does best. Produced by long time collaborator Sean Lakeman, ‘Peace’ sees the band in fine form, delivering the perfect mix of Celtic, guitar-driven anthems and folk-tinged balladry.
3 singles have whetted the fans appetites over the past months in lockdown. Opener and first single ‘Food Roof Family’ is an energised burst of noise, with driving bass and frantic fiddle and the same thought provoking lyricism that captures the same vibe as their early recordings. An instant anthem. With its retro keyboard refrain ‘Generation Fear’ sees a different, edgy direction. Still bold, brazen and relevant in 2020, it will surely become a future live favourite, guaranteed to get your inner crusty bouncing. ‘Calling Out’ sees guitarist Simon Friend take to the mic for a raspy tale of escaping the rat race. All 3 have their own merits but are very much Levellers in sound and feel.
Friend appears for lead vocals on several occasions, as he has done in the past. The emotive ‘Four Boys Lost’ is a sea shanty recalling the tragic tale of sailors lost at sea. ‘The Men Who Would Be King’ is raucous, punk fuelled noise-mongery, and for the first time he duets with singer Mark Chadwick on the marvellous ‘Albion and Phoenix’. The latter references the bands beginnings, Albion being a hill in Brighton and The Phoenix is the squat they used to hang out at. Full of choppy riffs and melodious fiddle, the juxtaposition of Chadwick and Friend’s vocals work perfectly on a song of reflection and sentimentality.
Elsewhere, the likes of Chadwick’s ‘Born That Way’ with its Clash-lite riff and fiddle refrain, along with Friend’s upbeat stomper ‘Our New Day’ show the more commercial mid-nineties Levellers along with the more poignant traditional laments of ‘Ghost In The Water’ and album closer ‘Our Future’.
Choc-a-bloc with their trademark observational lyricism and Celtic punk vibes, ‘Peace’ preaches a message of hope, which is nothing new for this band, but in these trying times the message seems just as relevant, if not more so than it was in the early nineties. They may be older, wiser and not the angry young punks they once were, but the Levellers still have something to say and in the current political and social climate, ‘Peace’ could well be the perfect soundtrack to our times.